Goats Don’t Shave formed in Smethwick in late Summer 1983.
The original line-up was Neil Fanthom – keyboards, Ewan Watters – guitar, George Russell – drums, Richard Edwards – bass, Anthony Goldrick – synthesizer, Ian the Goat – vocals.
The band played their first gig at The Railway, Birmingham on 7th October 1983 supporting Ginger Tom. After a few more support slots the Goats headlined at The Railway in December ’83.
Through 1984 the band began rehearsing and playing occasional gigs at The Shoulder of Mutton, Blackheath. They also began appearing regularly at JBs, Dudley. After producing a couple of demo tapes an agreement was reached with Eddie Blower to release the band’s debut single on his Smethwick based ‘Shoestring’ label. In November ’84 the band went to Birmingham’s Sinewave Studio to record ‘Like This Forever’ for the A -side of the single. Shortly afterwards Neil Fanthom, who was at Manchester University and finding it hard to get back to the Midlands for gigs, quit the band to concentrate on his studies. He was not replaced and the band’s sound altered as a result.
‘Like This Forever’ was relegated to a B-side and the new line-up recorded a new song ‘A Rumour’ as the A-side. The single finally appeared in mid ’85. With only 500 copies pressed and no distribution it didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but it sold at gigs and the project broke even and helped get the name known.
During 1985 the band broadened their horizons and began gigging away from the Midlands. In 1986 they began work on their second single, to be released on their own ‘Go Go Goat’ label. Anthony Goldrick left the band between recording sessions, the band carried on and recorded ‘Omar Sharif’s Moustache’ as a four piece. The single came out Autumn ’86 and was quite well received but with no distribution deal copies had to be sold at gigs.
In 1987 The Goats were starting to get regular gigs in London, Cardiff and Plymouth as well as on the local circuit. Richard Edwards decided to leave and was replaced on bass by Paul Rees, known to everyone as Ragga.
This fourth version of the band was fairly short-lived. George Russell left the band later that year to be replaced by Tony Dickinson, known as Dickie – the only Goats Don’t Shave member with the ability to levitate a tomato.
Two tracks, ‘Tarrah Trace’ and ‘Up the Club’, were recorded for a third single but Dickie decided to quit and the project was shelved.
For a short while the Goats used stand-ins on the drum stool – notably Richard Heath, then of True Grit, now of The Gravelly Hill Billies – until they were joined by Budgie as a permanent replacement. This line-up continued until November 1989 when Ian announced he was leaving the band. With the other members unable to imagine a version of GDS without Ian it was decided to wind the band up. There were bookings up to February 1990 which the band honoured and they played a farewell gig to a packed house at JBs,Dudley.
The band went their separate ways although Ragga worked with Ian in his covers band ‘The Bogus Social Workers’. In 1990 and 91 there were odd re-union gigs and Ian and Ewan recorded a four song demo after a record company expressed interest in the band.
An Irish folk/rock band called Goats Don’t Shave (no relation) formed, became quite successful and disbanded.
Later in the ’90s Ian formed ‘Ian the Goat sings Black Sabbath’ with Stu Clarke on guitar, Gary Latham on Bass and Tim James on the drums.
In early 2001 Ian happened to listen to an old Goats demo and thought something along the lines of, ‘More people should hear this stuff’. So he contacted Ewan and a new sixth version of the band was launched – with Gary Latham on bass and Tim James on drums.
Taken from http://www.goatsdontshave.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk